Kent M. Beeson’s review published on Letterboxd :
I'm really sorry, guys. I watched this for Paul Clark's White Elephant Blog-a-thon, and I really wanted to give it my all, but I'm just too old, it's just too late in the evening, and this movie is just too awful. YOLO and all that. There's a terrific, accurate review here if you want a proper write-up. The bottom line: the film spends 155m telling five different stories — the killing of an Native American leader, a TNT factory, the Mothman, an alien named “Indrid Cold”, and a deadly bridge accident — and insists they have something to do with each other, despite providing zero evidence. That’s all you need to know.
But! There are a few more things that need to be said. So I'll let the film say them:
1. Here are some direct quotes from two of the interview subjects:
“I’m no scientist, no biologist, anything like that, no chemistry major or anything like that. But I’m saying, in the TNT area, there is stuff in this ground and in this area that can never gone deep enough to be removed. It will always be contaminated.”
“You look at the whole Earth, the Earth is 4 1/2 billion years old, and yet we’ve only had intelligent beings for 2,000 of those years.” (This is from a professor of physics.)
[Note: I had a third quote where a woman misuses the word “unique”, but I couldn’t find it on review.]
I’m not going to identify the speakers, because my intent here is not to humiliate anyone. Instead, I would suggest that, unless interviewing a sweaty, chain-smoking corporate lawyer who looks like Martin Short, a documentarian should protect his interviewees and not make them look foolish.
2. From an author of a Mothman book:
“You know, I grew up in this area. These people don’t lie down. You know, they take their lumps, they keep going. At the end of the day, it’s about getting up in the morning, going to work, doing your job, and coming home. And to deal with such adversity that they have and still be such strong-willed, hard-working people amazes me to this day.”
See, I’m not entirely sure what adversity he’s referring to. If he means the Mothman, by the film’s account, the monster did nothing but scare a handful of people. If he means the bridge accident, um, okay, sure. But what I think he means, or what the film wants him to mean, is a combination of the two. And that’s the weird, myopic thing about the film — it doesn’t seem to realize how incredibly offensive and tasteless it is to conflate the two incidents.
3. From the co-founder of the “Mothman Festival”:
“A lot of our customers and a lot of tourism is here, just on account of Mothman. Looking around, he’s been really good for this area. And it is a happy ending to the Mothman, whether he’s here or he’s not, that the things that he brings us, the things that we do, like with the festival and the museum and the tourists.”
It sucks that 46 people died in a freak bridge accident, but yay! Money.
4. From the narration:
“There’s no question that these people witnessed something truly extraordinary between 1966 and 1967. What it was may never be determined. To doubt their very accounts is an insult, and does not do the hardships they’ve suffered as a result of coming forward with their story the justice they are due.”
DO NOT DOUBT.
BUY A T-SHIRT.